By Les Dixon / Staff Writer
GULF SHORES, ALA. — After starting their stay in Alabama with consecutive losses, Kyle Mink’s North Laurel Lady Jaguars wrapped up Spring Break in fine fashion, capturing two impressive wins to finish their trip with a 2-2 mark, while improving their record to 6-3 on the season.
“The girls could have put their heads down and not show up for these last two games, and we would be sitting at 4-5, but they didn't do that,” Mink said. “I was really happy with the way things went. We fought real hard and picked up two big wins today.”
Mink said the biggest thing he wanted out of the trip was to see his team improve, and the Lady Jaguars did just that.
“Overall, we bonded as a team,” he said. “We were able to get some of our younger players some experience and that’s what they needed. We played nine games overall, combining both varsity and junior varsity games, and that will do nothing but help us in the long run.
“We were able to experiment a bit and the coaching staff was able to look at some players in different situations,” Mink added. “We were able to put a lot of different people in different spots and that was big for us.”
North Laurel managed to pick up its first win of the trip by disposing of Foley, Ala., winning in five innings, 14-1.
Madison McDaniel picked up the win on the mound after starting the game and tossing three innings while Mikayla Viars came in relief and pitched the final two innings.
“I thought both Madison and Mikayla did a great job,” Mink said.
Kailen Yantz hit her fourth home run of the season during the 13-run win while Viars went 2-for-3 with two RBI. NaTasha Colwell continued her impressive play by going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBI.
“I thought we played a good game,” Mink said. “We received good hitting and pitching.”
In the second game of the double-header, North Laurel scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull out an impressive 4-3 victory over Excel, Ala.
The Lady Jaguars used some small-ball to pull out the win, as eighth grader Jade Williams and Makenzie Mills each laid down squeeze bunts that scored two runs.
Yantz drove in a run during the first inning, while Colwell connected with a double.
Viars picked up the win, finishing the game with four strikeouts.
“This was a good trip for us,” Mink said. “Today was huge because we were able to get two wins, and finish with a 2-2 record. We started this trip out slow, but we never gave up and did a great job today. Now we’ll head back and get ready for district play.”
North Laurel is scheduled to play Middlesboro on the road Monday before hitting the road again Tuesday in a 49th District battle with Jackson County.
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